Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Beavercreek Church Inspired by ‘2023 Initiative’

Story by Helene Riggs

“It doesn’t matter if the goal is completely met, but it does matter that there is a goal,” said Delthony Gordon, pastor of the Beavercreek church, as he presented the conference wide “2023 Initiative” to the church board in May 2021.

Gordon shared the idea of 2,023 Ohio baptisms by the year 2023 and challenged the board to set a baptismal goal for their church. After discussion, they unanimously picked 21 baptisms and extended the challenge to each ministry of the church.

The Vacation Bible School (VBS) team was one of the first to accept the challenge. Excitement ran high as members began to invite neighbors and friends. About 40 children attended the “Investigation Station: Genesis Factor” VBS, learning about creation and Sabbath rest. Ryan and Suzi Hayes of 3ABN Kids Camp Creation Crafts closed out the week’s programming, inspiring church youth with “Seeing the Invisible: Discovering God through the Eyes of Science.”

Next, Bible instructor Miguel Harris and the outreach team organized a church booth at Beavercreek city’s fall Popcorn Festival. Church volunteers greeted community members with a smile and distributed chilled bottled water. Members made balloon animals and flowers for the kids (and kids at heart). They also shared more than 750 literature packets and children’s coloring books and prayed with booth visitors in need.

Beavercreek also hosted its second Community Guest Day, inviting community leaders from Feed the Creek charity, Bridges of Hope charity, the police department, the school district and the City Council to greet the congregation. Following the worship service, members and guests alike mingled during an internationally themed fellowship meal.

Beavercreek’s Bluebirds Adventurer Club is also actively engaged in outreach. Director Heather Greutman reports the club has grown to 23 members with some joining from the community after church members invited them.

Beavercreek’s summer of outreach resulted in a beautiful story of friendship evangelism. A couple, themselves baptized the year before, each invited their friends to visit the church. After in-home Bible studies and one friend attending VBS with her children, the couple’s friends made decisions for baptism. Gordon baptized five new members last fall, including his own son.

Gordon beams, “One of the biggest blessings for me this year is baptizing my son Jonathan! Never in my dreams did I think I’d get that privilege, as ministry was not my original plan in life. Obviously, God had other plans!”

Beavercreek church continues to challenge members to share their faith with friends, family mem- bers and co-workers. Seeing how God blessed the church efforts during the first months of the “2023 Initiative,” the church board reconvened in October to set a new goal of 40 baptisms by 2023. With the Holy Spirit in the driver’s seat, Beavercreek is moving forward together in mission!

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